Thursday, October 25, 2007


Mike knew they were nearly out of water. It was only a matter of time before they had to go out. He wanted to wait until the last minute. He tried to make sure that he had enough filled in buckets, but it hadn’t rained in a few days, and the supply that they had taken from the tap was dwindling. The taps had gone off shortly after the power, and the problem wasn’t with the building, the city ran a pumping station in the lake, and without power it was useless. He just wish he had some way to get water without leaving this building, or sending any his guys out. In any case, the decision to get more water had to come soon, or else people would start to dehydrate – then die. He had worked so hard to secure this place…


It was late afternoon when the panic struck the worksite. Mike was the foreman and saw the chaos unfold on the streets below. The building was evacuated a little after 1pm. Mike had seen enough to know that going outside was not a good idea. He gathered his crew together, 31 men working on the building.

“It’s fucked up out there, and I know a lot of you have families and want to leave. Any man that wants to walk out that door can do it. And you can take any of your tools with you. I just want to warn you, that your families may not be there when you get home. And as fucked as it is getting, you may never make it home. I don’t want to be a pessimist, I know a lot of you guys can take care of yourself, but we have a better chance to survive staying here and holing up. If you want to leave, do so, but we can’t promise that we will be able to let you in after you go. Anyone that is staying, meet me in the lowest level of this building in five minutes.”

None of the crew talked. The listened and waited until he was finished. When the five minutes was up only 14 of his crew remained. Mike had served in Gulf War I and was a natural leader. He utilized every man on his team at that moment. 3 of them left to get water and food. Everyone pitched in all they had and the three left to venture outside. They would buy what they could, and take whatever they had to. The others retreated to the second floor. His welders sealed the doors to the lower level. Any movement in or out had to be done from the sidewalk shield outside. The rest of his guys searched the building for anything that could be used. When the three came back from “shopping,” the ladder was lowered down into the street and then pulled back up. There was no way in or out.

Free people got the generators out, set buckets up to get all the water they could from the tap before it stopped, and continued to set up the building as a small fortress. A few people passing by asked to be let in, and were. But most of the people on the street had somewhere to go, and as far as Mike was concerned, it was probably to their early deaths.

Mike stopped his crew from communicating with the Marines when they came in. He knew they had a job to do, and when things started looking bad for them, he was glad he had dissuaded his men. The soldiers left in such a hurry, they left some of their own behind. There was no room for civilians. Mike and the construction crew from the East Wabash building knew they were alone here. The only thing they could do was hope for rain. And lots of it.

No comments: